With President’s Day falling this week, I thought I would do something a little different and scour the Baltimore Orioles history books to find players who shared the last names of some of America’s Commander in Chiefs.
Washington: Ron Washington – Washington spent one year with the Orioles back in 1987 where he played 26 games for the O’s as he batted .203. Hardly the stuff that George Washington would be proud of, but Ron Washington would have impressed our first President while managing the Texas Rangers to two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 while also leading the Rangers to 90+ win seasons four years in a row (2010 – 2013).
Adams: Spencer Adams – John Adams is one of the more underrated and under-appreciated Presidents in American history in my opinion (as well as his son, John Quincy Adams), but both of the John’s share their last name with Spencer Adams who played for the O’s in 1927 while they were the St. Louis Browns. Adams batted .266 that year but had an impressive .333 on-base percentage.
Jefferson: Jesse Jefferson – One of the key contributors to the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, shared his last name with Jesse Jefferson who pitched for the O’s from 1973 to 1975 and posted a record of 7-7 with a 4.13 ERA. Something tells me that Thomas Jefferson showed more control than Jesse, as Jesse walked 92 hitters over a span of 165 2/3 innings pitched.
Jackson: Grant Jackson – While Reggie Jackson did spend one year with the Orioles in 1976, Grant Jackson gets the write-up due to his playing with the O’s longer (1971 to 1976) and due to the fact that his name couldn’t be more Presidential, calling on Ulysses S. Grant as well as Andrew Jackson. Grant Jackson posted a quality record of 24-12 during his time in Baltimore along with an equally impressive ERA of 2.81. Grant also saved 39 games.
Harrison: Roric Harrison – Roric Harrison played with the Orioles back in 1972 and while his record of 3-4 doesn’t look that impressive, his 2.30 ERA is certainly of high quality. While he was in Baltimore only for a year, that was unfortunately longer than William henry Harrison was President, as he passed away due to complications from pneumonia while serving in office for only 32 days.
Kennedy: Terry Kennedy – Kennedy played two seasons with the Orioles from 1987 to 1988 with 1987 being his best year there as he made the All Star squad. He would end his ’87 season batting .250 with 18 HR and 62 RBI. While he might not have had the impact as John F. Kennedy, Terry still played well for the O’s.
Bush: Bullet Joe Bush – With a name like Bullet Joe, you should automatically make any list. While sharing his name with the George’s, Bullet Joe played for the Orioles back in 1925 when they were the Browns. That year he posted a record of 14-14 with a 5.09 ERA. Bullet Joe would go on to post a career record of 196-184 with a 3.51 ERA over the span of 17 years in the Majors. While he did display some control problems, as he walked 91 batters over 208 2/3 innings in 1925, he at least found the plate more often than George W. found any weapons of mass destruction.